FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen brand will unveil two production-ready variants of its upcoming seven-seat full-electric SUV at next month's Shanghai auto show. The EV will take on Tesla's Model X as well as a growing number of rivals from Chinese brands.
The ID6 X and ID6 Cross, each built by one of VW's two Chinese joint ventures, are expected to play a crucial role in the Chinese market. Vehicles large enough to carry members of an extended family are popular with buyers in China.
"With the ID6 X and ID6 Cross we are presenting at the Shanghai motor show a seven-seat SUV especially designed for the Chinese market," Volkswagen brand CEO Ralf Brandstaetter told reporters while presenting the brand's future strategy on March 5.
The ID6, which is similar in size to the VW Touareg, was previewed by the ID Roomzz concept at the 2019 Shanghai show.
The ID6 X will be built by SAIC Volkswagen Auto and the ID6 Cross by FAW-Volkswagen Auto.
Besides China, the U.S. is likely to be a key market for the ID6. A market launch in the U.S. is "conceivable," a VW spokesman said. But there are no current plans to sell the SUV in Europe, the spokesman said.
The ID6 will likely be the first real competitor for the Model X that Tesla has faced since the vehicle first launched in 2015. Other electric SUVs like the Audi e-tron can only seat five passengers.
Tesla does not break out delivery figures of the Model X. According to the company's regulatory filings it sold a combined 57,039 units of the Model S and Model X last year, a decline of 8,669 units over 2019.
The real competitors for the ID6 will be Chinese brands, including the Nio ES8.
A raft of domestic startups have leapfrogged combustion engine technology to compete directly in the EV segment, joining more established state-owned automakers such as BAIC's new EV brand Arcfox.
VW brand is targeting a market share of over 50 percent for full-electric vehicles in the China and the U.S. by 2030, the company said on March 5.